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Old 11-20-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
pljvaldez
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Abit IL8 Motherboard failure?


Can anyone tell me how to track down a hardware failure like the following?

I woke up this morning and found my poor Debian Lenny custom box (Abit IL8 motherboard w/ a P4 processor) with a blank screen. I figured it was locked up, so I booted up my wife's windows machine and tried to ssh into it. No reply from Lenny. Tried to ping it, no reply. The box still has power and the fans were all going full bore. So I tried using the magic keys to get a safe reboot - nothing. So I did a hard reboot (holding the power button until it shut off), then rebooted it. That's where I knew I was in trouble.

The first thing that usually pops up is a quick nVidia check for my GPU, then to the BIOS check screens. But I didn't get either. In fact, the monitor never even woke up and the hard drive light quit blinking after just a couple of seconds.

So I grabbed a Knoppix 5.0 DVD I have laying around, popped it in the drive and rebooted the machine (hard reboot again). The DVD never started spinning and the machine just sat there again, the monitor never woke up.

At this point, I figure it's a motherboard or CPU failure. Does anyone know of a good way to check one versus the other without just going out and buying a replacement CPU? If I have to get a new board, I'll get something that'll take a multicore processor. So for that reason I don't want to go buy a compatible P4 to check, because then it's just a waste of money if the board is bad.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I'm pretty sure the data is all still there (I'll check in the morning by putting the drive into a USB enclosure), so I'm pretty sure there's no problem there.
 
Old 11-21-2009, 02:29 AM   #2
disturbed1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
The first thing that usually pops up is a quick nVidia check for my GPU, then to the BIOS check screens. But I didn't get either.


Any thoughts or suggestions?
Start with what usually pops up first, the graphics card. Slide another one in, and see if that fixes the problem. Next I'd check the PSU. After that, I'd be inclined to purchase a new motherboard and maybe CPU, depending on the cost to replace that socket type. Too bad Abit doesn't make motherboards anymore.
 
Old 11-21-2009, 07:52 AM   #3
DragonSlayer48DX
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I agree with Disturbed... If BIOS is running into a fatal graphics error, it would halt the boot process, hence no HDD or DVD activity. The fact that the monitor doesn't wake tells me there's no output signal from the graphics controller.

Cheers and Good Luck!

Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 11-21-2009 at 07:54 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
pljvaldez
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll see if I can get my hands on a graphics card to check that out and let you know what transpires.
 
Old 11-21-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
Electro
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If there is no beeps, you could get the following device to diagnose what is going on.

Elston Post Tester ISA / PCI Slot V.3.2 POSTCARD_32_MAN
http://www.cyberguys.com/product-det...roductid=12691

I suggest disconnect everything because it could be a power supply problem. Another problem could be metal fatigue which means a motherboard board replacement have to be done unless you have a microscope.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
pljvaldez
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Status update:

I disconnected and took everything out of the computer (RAM, video card, drives, TV tuner, etc). I put a temporary start switch in the PSU and checked the voltages. They all checked out fine. Hooked up just the motherboard and fired it up. I now get one long continuous beep repeated over and over until I shut off the PSU.

So unless I'm mistaken, according to these beep codes, that means I have a RAM problem of some sort. The weird thing is that if I put anything back in, like the video card or a single stick of RAM, I get no beeps. I would expect to get a single beep saying the system is fine or a different beep code saying that there's some other problem (like missing display card).

I think my next step is that I'm going to try to reset the cmos. Maybe it's just goobered up somehow. Tomorrow I'll see if I can borrow a stick of RAM and see if that fixes the problem.

EDIT: I tried the CMOS reset and had no different results. Currently all I can do is get the motherboard to beep at me in long continuous beeps as long there is no RAM, drives, PCI cards, or PCI-e video card installed.

Also, I've noticed a bit of "whining" coming out of the PSU that I never noticed before. It's faint and I don't usually have my head down this close to the machine.

Oh, and the GPU fan sounds sick, but still seems to be spinning.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 11-23-2009 at 11:11 PM.
 
  


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